Home Automotive Ineos Grenadier First Drive Review: A brute force off-road tool

Ineos Grenadier First Drive Review: A brute force off-road tool

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Loch Lomond, Scotland — Although we didn’t witness its invention, we risk speculating that tools like axes were invented very early in human history. . Land Rover may have been superseded by important military jeeps like the axe, but that too was a simple tool designed specifically for his one purpose: off-road maneuvers. . Open the driver’s door of the Ineos Grenadier and you’ll meet us where we stand today.

The Land Rover Defender cannot be ignored when describing the Ineos Grenadier, but the new machine is definitely not a copy of the old one. If you were asked to imagine a boxy off-road utility vehicle, you would probably think of something along the same straight lines, but any number of classic Jeep, Landy, Mercedes-Benz or Toyota designs. can do. .

Ineos was founded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe in 1992 and today is the fourth largest chemical company in the world. Ineos Automotive was founded in 2017 with the aim of building a suitable off-road vehicle in the same mold as the deceased Land Rover Defender (the original, not the reincarnated model).

With a permanent four-wheel drive system, three available locking differentials, a two-speed transfer case, sturdy front and rear axles, and a beefy engine, the Grenadier does more than just resemble a legendary off-road vehicle. . Roads like them too. More traditional bits include a full ladder frame and an old-school recirculating ball steering box. Ineos sources its engine from BMW — the U.S. model will only be sold in his 3.0-liter straight-six on his B58 gasoline fuel, which produces about 283(ish) horsepower and 330(ish) pound-feet of torque. . ZF, Tremec transfer cases, Carraro axles, Eaton differential rockers, Eibach progressive rate springs, Brembo brakes. All of this leads to a suitably sturdy platform with a modern take on historically durable components.

The off-road Ineos Grenadier is capable of traversing almost any terrain that is accessible on four wheels. One leg of a large expedition through the rugged Scottish countryside turned its stubby front end against all the usual suspects: rock-strewn mountains, deeply rutted muddy peaks, small Waterways, ice-covered lake sandy beaches… Locking the differential and switching to off-road mode is an overly complicated process, but once accomplished, the Grenadier functions as expected and can be used off-road like a Jeep. Comparable to any other off-road icon in the world, including Icon. and Land Rover.

The Grenadier boasts 10.4 inches of ground clearance, a 35.5 degree approach angle and a 36.1 degree departure angle. Breakover is listed at her 28.2 degrees, and Ineos says the Grenadier can lean up to 45 degrees on its side. A 5-link suspension setup and solid front and rear axles offer him 9 degrees of articulation at the front and 12 degrees at the rear, with total wheel travel listed at 23 inches. These numbers are far better than the Mercedes G550. Compared to the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, the Grenadier lacks approach and departure angles and has about half an inch less ground clearance, but a little better in breakovers.

The engine’s torque curve is tuned flat, with peaks between 1,750 and 4,000 rpm. The 2.5:1 low end translates to a crawl ratio of 53.81, or a very manageable 1.26 mph. On the other side of the hill, Downhill Assist automatically keeps the Grenadier at his 2 mph set speed, and Cruise can be selected with his control button.

The Grenadier is larger in all dimensions than the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, but its 115.0-inch wheelbase is 3.4 inches shorter than the Jeep, and the elevated seating position and flat fenders make it easy to deploy the 265/70R17 or optional 255/. increase. Place the 70R18 front tire where you want it. Two tires are provided. The custom Bridgestone Dueler A/T offers a good street/dirt compromise, but the BFGoodrich K02 is the more natural choice given its solid reputation with Overlanders.

Globally, the Grenadier is available in three trim levels, all using the same powertrain. Base model with center-locking differential as standard, off-road focused Trailmaster with off-road kit standard (including snorkel air intakes) and fancier with standard heated seats with leather field master model. gray or black. It remains to be seen what will be standard or optional in the US market, but I hope the Belstaff brand remains intact (Ineos owns the famous British clothing store ).

We love to drive on dirt roads, but the reality is that on the tarmac we go a lot more under the tires of nearly every Grenadier. Luckily, this off-roader is also quite adept at driving on-road. The old-fashioned cyclical ball steering has a 3.85 turn slow he ratio at lock-to-lock and doesn’t naturally want to return to center easily at low speeds. Steering is more precise and feels a bit more as speed increases, and the chassis is playful and communicative enough that driving around twisty roads at high speed isn’t a chore.

Considering the lack of low-speed steering feel and the Grenadier’s mission statement, there aren’t many other complaints. A 0-60 second time over 8 seconds won’t win you many drag races (especially when you’re up against similarly boxy off-roaders with the letter G), but it’s actually a solid Ute. is fast enough aswe don’t have EPA Fuel economy rating, but I would expect something in the ballpark at 20 mpg in mixed driving.

Grenadier interior furniture is a compromise between practicality, functionality and understated luxury. Recaro cloth seats and rubber floors are standard, but leather and carpet are optional. The interior is surprisingly quiet, with engine, road and wind noise low enough to keep a conversation going. Thanks to BMW’s inherently smooth straight-six engine and his ZF’s unflappable automatic his gearbox, the Grenadier’s sophistication has increased significantly. Drivers of right-hand drive Grenadier models face the unfortunate floor encroachment where their left foot naturally sits, but left-hand drive models made for America have no such problem.

There are no gauge clusters directly in front of the driver’s seat, just a few warning lights and indicators. Instead, nearly all the information is displayed on his centrally positioned 12.3-inch screen. The speedometer and all other readouts are well placed on the screen, but it’s always been our preference to have the actual dial directly in front of the driver.The infotainment system was designed by Ineos Equipped with a custom interface, you can access various screens and settings and scroll through the touch-sensitive panel itself or via an iDrive-esque rotary controller. The real dials and buttons for air conditioning and audio controls below the screen are a welcome sight, and the layout and size mean they’re very easy to navigate.

Continuing up towards the roof, you’ll find another large control panel that houses all the offroad-specific toggles and switchgear. It looks complicated at first glance, and the combination of button-pressing and switching procedures is unnecessarily cumbersome, but a few off-road trips should make them second nature.

During testing of the Grenadier, off-road issues were immediately apparent. Instead of installing another sensor inside the axle to check if the axle is locked, the engineers decided to use the wheel speed sensor already there to perform the detection. In other words, the car’s electronic brain does not know that the differential is unlocked until it detects wheel slippage. Usually it’s not a big deal, but some offroad settings are only accessible when the diff is locked or unlocked. This can sometimes result in the game throttling back and forth through mud and rocks as the system tries to check status. .

We especially like the Grenadier’s optional Safari windows, which sit above the driver and passenger seats. It’s not as airy as the Wrangler’s or Bronco’s fully removable tops, but an easy latch system opens the hatch and pushes it all the way out. We wanted more vintage-inspired skylights along the sides, but Ineos instead opted to package various mounting points along the roof. The rear cargo area is accessed through a pair of swinging doors. His 1/3 wide doors on the smaller have an optional step to the roof. Another unusual feature is an optional attachment strip along the vehicle’s beltline that allows you to attach all sorts of aftermarket accessories such as extra fuel cans and flip-down tables.

As long as a vehicle of this type is priced appropriately, it is expected that there will be a large potential customer base. Unfortunately, we’ll have to reserve final judgment on that topic as Ineos will have to wait a few more months before they’re ready to publish their pricing and availability plans for the US market. A cooked vehicle is very intriguing (with much welcome help from Magna-Steyr). Grenadiers seem at home everywhere, from the rock tops of Moab to the mud-buried wheel arches of the southern swamps, with a few stops in Hollywood and Miami along the way.

The Ineos Grenadier is a nostalgic vehicle designed to appeal to buyers tired of the complexity of modern off-road vehicles. We can say that the Grenadier works in the space between the old Land Rover his Defender and the new one. It boasts the modern essentials needed for a safe and reliable car in today’s world, while avoiding anything deemed unnecessary like height-adjustable suspension, sway bar disengagement and terrain management software. In other words, a wooden-handled ax in a world full of shiny chainsaws. In some cases, brute force is the way to go.

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